Want to make selling self-published books easier?
A lot of ministers dedicate hours of their life into writing a book. They are never getting those hours back, so it stands to reason they want to get their book into as many hands as possible.
It’s not always about the money of selling thousands of copies, but it’s the ability to take that message to as many people as possible. But, when you talk about marketing a self-published book, most people have nothing to offer but a blank stare.
Not to worry, though. In this article, we’re going to talk about the different types of marketing funnels you can set up to sell your self-published book.
Self-Published Book Marketing Funnels
First, what is a “funnel?”
It’s a fancy name for the series of pages and emails you will send someone to take them from stranger to book-purchaser.
My wife and I recently visited the Dominican Republic for a vacation. One night at our resort, they set up a huge show for local crafters to sell their goods to the tourists.
Walking among the long line of tables, the locals would do their best to get our attention. They usually called us “friend” and did their best to give us a “gift,” which was one of their smaller items.
Every single table had someone saying something like, “Hey friend, this is a gift I want to give you.”
If you accepted the gift, they would immediately try selling you their wares. Now that you were their “friend” they wanted to show you everything they had to offer. And, if the price was too high, they would barter with you because they “really wanted you to have it.”
It was an interesting experience, and not unlike what I do with digital marketing in my job. I just do it all with website pages and Facebook ads.
Let’s examine the funnel steps from stranger to customer for these Dominican Republicans:
This is a sales funnel!
Yet, when most people try to sell their book, they start with “buy this from me.” Without a relationship, the sale is much less likely, which is what these local crafters have learned.
They have a much better chance at getting a sale if their prospect is their “friend,” and if they can talk their prospect into taking something for free, they will more than likely make a sell as well.
This is the trick we’re going to implement in our sales funnels. But this is just a basic flow. You can make much more complex funnels. So, let’s jump in and look at some sales funnel variations you can use to sell your book, and possibly more.
1. The Basic 3-Step Funnel
This is the funnel most people deploy if they deploy a funnel at all.
Notice, this funnel cuts right to the chase: Buy my book, or leave.
The Pieces to The Basic 3-Step Funnel:
- The Landing Page – This page is where you communicate the value of the book. It will include a payment form buyers will fill out and submit, which leads them to the confirmation page.
- The Confirmation Page – This page is where they get the “success” message, and possibly a receipt for their purchase. If it’s a digital download, this page usually contains the link to that download page.
- Add-To-List Logic – This isn’t a page, it’s a step where your landing page software (I use ClickFunnels) sends the contacts to your mailing list.
2. The Digital Dominican Republic Funnel
This funnel goes a step bigger than the 3-step funnel. This one adds the “hey friend, here’s a free gift” step before the basic funnel. It looks like this:
The free gift can be anything you can offer for free. It works best if the free offer is a digital download, so those who want it can get instant gratification.
The free offer is only given to your “friends,” right? So, if the website visitor really wants the free offer, they will have to give us their name and email address. And, when they do that, I will offer them the whole book for a purchase.
- If they purchase the book, they flow through to the email list.
- If they do not purchase the book, they are added to a special segment of the email list, where they will receive automated emails with the purpose of making the sell.
You can use anything your audience will find valuable as the free gift.
In a book funnel I’m building now, I am giving away the first chapter of the book as the free gift.
3. The Free+Shipping Funnel
This is the funnel a lot of people in the marketing space use. Basically, you are giving your book away to anyone who will pay for shipping and handling.
Russell Brunson uses this funnel to sell his book, Dotcom Secrets, which I recommend all digital tentmakers reading.
Notice, the shopping form is a double-step form with step 1, shipping address; step 2, billing information.
The great part about the 2-step process is that it doesn’t cost anything to fill out the first step, which a lot of people do. But not everyone who fills out step 1 follows through and enters their billing information. And then there are people who’s cards are declined, and they leave without buying.
Since they actually submitted their information in step-1, they have been added to his email list, even the ones who didn’t buy.
Now that he has them on his list, he can continue to market the book to those who filled out step 1, getting them to purchase the book. And, what’s even better, is that Brunson will have written about 10-12 emails (or more) that are programmed to drip out to these non-purchasers in an automated schedule.
This is the power of digital marketing for book sales: No ongoing effort is needed to nurture and sell the book to those who join this list.
It’s all automated.
It’s passive income.
4. The OTO Funnel
OTO stands for One Time Offer. This is the funnel that will make you the most money, if you prepare for it.
When someone purchases the book, this funnel inserts a step between the purchase and the confirmation, offering an additional product. Like this:
Most books ministers write are non-fiction books, either inspirational or informational.
With both of these kinds of books, you can easily create additional resources:
- Companion Lesson Plan & Teaching Guide
- Companion Student Notebooks
- A Companion Course, Digging Deeper Into the Subject Matter
- Additional Resources, Templates, etc.
If you don’t have additional products to sell, consider adding additional formats of the book:
- If they buy a physical copy, offer the digital copy for a small additional fee.
- If they buy the digital copy, offer the audiobook for a small additional fee.
- If they buy the audio book, offer the digital copy for a small additional fee.
5. The OTO With Upsells & Downsells
You’re probably noticing that these funnels are usually very similar, with one or two extra steps involved. Now, you can get really complicated or you can keep things relatively simple.
I recommend keeping things simple.
However, for those who offer an expensive companion product with their book (like an expensive course, or personal consultations, etc) you may have to get a little creative to close the sales of your OTOs.
That’s where this 5th kind of book funnel comes into play. It looks similar to this:
In this funnel, once a visitor purchases the book, they are taken to a landing page offering an expensive OTO, like personal coaching or something similar. If the visitor purchases the upsell, they are taken straight to the confirmation page to both get their Book and OTO purchase.
If they purchase the book but say “no” to the OTO, it might not be that they don’t want it, but that they can’t afford the price. So, they are taken to a “downsell” page, that offers the same offer but in smaller installment payments. If they say yes to the downsell offer, they are taken to the confirmation page and their credit card is automatically set up on recurring payments until the full amount is collected.
How Do I Build These Book Marketing Funnels?
If you’re like most of the ministers I talk to, all of this sounds really good, but you’re about to close this post because you don’t know how to make these pages.
Don’t do that, it’s really easy.
I use a tool called ClickFunnels that basically builds all of this for you. All you have to do is drag-n-drop the pieces you want, and the software does the rest.
You can get a 14-day free trial here and try it out for yourself.
I’m also putting on a webinar showing exactly how I built out these funnels for one of my clients. You can register for the free webinar workshop by sending us a message on Facebook.
If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below!